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Poetry Benches
 

History of Artists-Designed Poetry Benches

 
The Poetry Benches are the result of a true partnership with the Bethesda business community, Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Maryland Department of Transportation and the Bethesda Chevy Chase Services Center. With special thanks to funding from the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, Bethesda was fortunate to have one-of-a-kind, artist-designed poetry benches installed along the Bethesda Circulator route as an amenity to trolley patrons. (The Bethesda Circulator is a free bus running throughout downtown Bethesda.)
 
Bodil Meleney
Bodil Meleney was selected through a Public Art Competition to design and produce the benches. Currently residing in Takoma Park, Maryland, Meleney lived in Bethesda for 24 years; she has a very strong background working with functional art furniture. Her winning proposal used a standard bus bench with a hand-carved and hand-painted backboard. In addition to the artistic design of the benches each bench was adorned with a few lines of poetry provided by several local poets.

Selection of the Poems
Selection of the poems began in March of 2002 with a competition sponsored by the Public Arts Trust Program of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
 
The following poets and their poems were selected:
Nancy Allinson
Elizabeth Follin-Jones
Sunil Freeman
Nan Fry
Martin Galvin
Kathryn Gerhard
Marilyn Heilprin
Laurie Hurvitz
Larry Moffi
Judy Neri
Elizabeth Rees
Carol Trawick
Elizabeth Wickenheiser
   
Bench locations  
Arlington Road at Elm and Hampton Streets
Arlington Road
Arlington Road and Montgomery Avenue
Auburn Avenue and Norfolk Avenue
Old Georgetown Road (between Woodmont and Fairmont)
Old Georgetown Road and St. Elmo Avenue
Old Georgetown Road and Cordell Avenue
Old Georgetown Road and Auburn Avenue
Woodmont Avenue and Rugby Avenue
Woodmont Avenue and St. Elmo Avenue
Woodmont Triangle
Woodmont Avenue and Elm Street
   
Specific Locations  
Nancy Allison
7142 Arlington Rd.
"This blouse has passed through your fingers"

Nancy Allison
7625 Old Georgetown Rd.
"Try these on for size"

Alexa April
7200 Woodmont Ave.
"I am young and filled with glee"

Elizabeth Follin-Jones
7215 Arlington Rd.
on the "Cornucopia"

Elizabeth Follin-Jones
7199 Arlington Rd.
"Bounty"

Sunil Freeman
7701 Norfolk Ave.
"Sundial: 4 Strings"

Nan Fry
4900 Auburn Ave.
"Listen, robins are on"

Martin Galvin
4801 Woodmont Ave.
"The moon is like a doorknob"

Kathryn Gerhard
7300 Woodmont Ave.
"After Scraping a Windshield"

Marilyn Heilprin
7647 Old Georgetown Rd.
"I have met eyes filled with recognition"


Barbara F. Lefcowitz
Metro Center
"A wooden spoon for an oar"

Larry Moffi
4806 Rugby Ave.
from "Birthday" "White pine, so little of you, slight"

Judy Neri
4900 Edgemore Lane
"Connections"

Stephanie Stove Ney
7696 Woodmont Ave.
"Missing person found unharmed…good book"

Sean Sapin Peacock
7500 Woodmont Ave.
"From Earth teach me"

John Peacock
4850 Bethesda Ave.
"Bethesda 81/2"

Elizabeth Rees
7735 Old Georgetown Rd.
"Hear how the wind rides"

Elizabeth Rees
7841 Old Georgetown Rd.
"There is a reason to sit on cold roots"

Carol Trawick
7411 Arlington Rd.
"Vacationer's Plea"/2nd Verse

Elizabeth Wickenheiser
4930 Auburn Ave.
"Clouds are caught in treetops"
 


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